Undergraduate Course Catalog 2012-2013

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DEGREE PROGRAMS FOR: COMPUTER SCIENCE

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers courses for every member of the Lewis University community. The department also provides specialized courses leading to a major in Mathematics and specialized courses leading to a major in Computer Science.

The field of Computer Science grew out of the disciplines of mathematics and electrical engineering. It focuses primarily on the technical aspects of hardware and software design and operation. Computer Science students learn how to design and optimize algorithms for solving problems in a wide variety of fields. They study the underpinnings of computer technology and acquire a keen understanding of computer organization, programming languages and techniques, network architecture, databases and communication protocols. This technical emphasis prepares computer science students to advance the state-of-the-art in computer technology throughout their careers. Graduates will excel in the design of algorithms and data structures; firmly understand how computers represent, process, and communicate information beyond a purely conceptual level; and possess a strong grasp of the machine characteristics that influence system design.

In summary, a computer science education teaches students interested in computer technology how computers and networks work, how to develop applications for them, how to design systems that integrate a variety of computing technologies for accessing and interpreting diverse data sets, and how to secure computers and networks to ensure that sensitive data stay protected. With this broad foundation, Computer Science students can then specialize in more specific interest areas, particularly through their choice of elective courses in the major. For example,

  • Students interested in computer security might choose their electives from the set CS 250: File Systems and Digital Forensics; CS 420: Computer Security; CS 425: Encryption; and CS 485: Advanced Communications and Networking.
  • Students interested in developing video game development might choose their electives from the set CS 410: Video Game Programming I; CS 415: Video Game Programming II; CS 417: Mobile Application Development; CS 430: Computer Graphics; and CS 470: Artificial Intelligence.
  • Students interested in distributed and mobile computing technologies might choose their electives from the set CS 247: Internet Programming; CS 330: Database Theory and Design; CS 417: Mobile Application Development; and CS 440: Software Engineering.
  • Students interested in the use of computers to simulate scientific systems might choose their electives from the set CS 296: Special Topics Scientific Computing; CS 410: Video Game Programming I; CS 430: Computer Graphics; Math 305: Linear Algebra; Math 315: Probability and Statistics; and Math 350: Numerical Analysis.

Computer science majors are encouraged to take additional courses from other disciplines, such as business, the physical sciences, and the social sciences. The interests of the particular student should determine the specific area of study to complement the Computer Science major.

In addition to a challenging curriculum, students also have excellent opportunities to obtain valuable work experience while attending Lewis University. Lewis provides numerous work-study jobs for its undergraduates, in which students can gain hands-on experience maintaining computer systems and assisting other students. Local businesses frequently contact the department concerning both part-time and full-time employment opportunities. Many Mathematics and Computer Science majors work at Argonne National Laboratory as part of a cooperative program.

Well-qualified students also have the option to pursue the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Master of Science in Information Security simultaneously, a program that will enable the student to earn both degrees within five years. It achieves this result by recognizing that during their undergraduate studies computer science students receive excellent training that prepares them to meet the technical challenges facing information security professionals. This preparation may be completed by having students take primarily management-related courses during their remaining year of study.

In addition, minors are offered in Computer Science and Cyber Security Science.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Students who wish to transfer to Lewis University and major in either Mathematics or Computer Science should examine the major course requirements and major course descriptions carefully. A course title might have significantly different meaning and content at another college or university. Most transfer students who enroll at Lewis starting their junior year can complete the major in two years; however, if there are deficiencies, an additional semester of study will probably be required.

Majors in Computer Science may also consider pursuing a minor in Biotechnology.